Dwarka Peeth Shankarachayra Swaroopanand Saraswati has raised serious objection to the Har Har Modi slogan in favour of Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
He has also registered a strong protest with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat and asked him to stop such vyakti puja (eulogising of the individual).
The Shankaracharya, who is considered close to Congress leaders like Digvijaya Singh, is unhappy over the traditional chant Har Har Mahadev raised to hail Lord Shiv being "modified" into Har Har Modi to spruce up Modi's campaign.
"After learning about it, I called up Bhagwat on Saturday and asked him to stop such chanting, which is an insult to Lord Shiva. I told him that converting Har har Mahadev to Har Har Modi must be stopped. Instead of worshipping God, it is an attempt to worship a particular human being and it is against Hindu religion," said Swaroopanand.
The seer said he was flooded with phone calls from devotees, who are deeply hurt by such slogan-chanting.
"In his reply, Bhagwat claimed that RSS is always against such practices. He also claimed that such chanting is done out of over-enthusiasm by some supporters and it is not an intentional effort by the BJP," said Swaroopanand.
However, he remains unconvinced by the explanation given by Bhagwat.
"If the RSS doesn't endorse such vyakti puja then why has it not done anything to stop such activities? Why is Modi not opposing it from the very first moment," he asked.
The slogan has also angered other political parties which have raised objections against it.
"People say that no one can stop Modi. But, if such activities continue, God will stop him," said Swaroopanand.
He pointed out an instance of "deification" of Modi in Chhattisgarh.
"Some youth BJP leaders in Chhattisgarh removed a shivling from the temple and installed Narendra Modi's photo into it. They must refrain from indulging in vyakti puja," the Shankaracharya said.
Image: Shankarachayra Swaroopanand Saraswati